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The close call took place on Tuesday at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.
A “slip of the tongue” by an air traffic controller at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport last July saw two planes collide less than 100 meters from each other, according to a report released Tuesday.
The July 20, 2020 incident involved a United Airlines Boeing 787 arriving from Newark, New Jersey, and an EasyJet Airbus A320 preparing to take off en route to Malaga, Spain, according to the report of the French air safety investigative agency. for civil matters. aviation (BE).
According to the report, planes took off from the 09R runway at the time and landed on 09L, but the air traffic controller told the United Airlines plane to land on 09R.
The crew attempted to confirm the lane change with the words “understand” and “swerve for 9 right,” the report said.
However, the air traffic controller did not check the crew’s readback and told the EasyJet aircraft to line up for takeoff from runway 09R.
At the time, the United Airlines plane was still queuing to land on 09L, so the crew started the maneuver, but when they checked again, the plane landed on their runway.
The EasyJet crew asked the air traffic controller why the United Airlines plane crashed on 09R and warned of a possible collision.
At the time, the aircraft was flying at an altitude of 300 feet, 1,300 meters from the end of the runway. Both the EasyJet crew and the air traffic controller told the United Airlines crew to take one more flight, and the pilots aborted their landing.
By the time the planes crossed, they were only 300 feet apart.
The air traffic controller had no direct line of sight to the 09 runways because the equipment facing them appeared to be broken and she was working on a different screen, according to the report.
At the time of the incident, the screen facing the 09 runways had been repaired and the controller was preparing to switch, which she was “concerned” about, according to the report.
She also told investigators she was confused by a previous request from another aircraft to land on runway 09R, which is longer than 09L, due to technical difficulties.
The BEA cited a number of factors contributing to the incident, including the fact that the air traffic controller was out of practice due to reduced air traffic during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Investigators also said the United Airlines crew should have used the term “confirm” rather than the non-standard “understand.”
NewsMadura has contacted Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for comment.
Correction: An earlier version of this story contained the wrong date for the incident. It happened on July 20, 2020.